Samsung launches $300M autonomous driving fund, puts $90M into TTTech

TechCrunch | 9/14/2017 | Ingrid Lunden
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Not to be outpaced in the connected car market by other tech giants, today the world’s largest smartphone maker, Samsung, announced two major pieces of news to further its place in the next generation of automotive technology. It has launched the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund, a $300 million fund to back startups and other interesting bets in the automotive market. Alongside this, Samsung has put €75 million (nearly $90 million) into TTTech, an Austria-based developer of platforms and safety software for connected cars, alongside a corresponding investment from Audi.

In addition to this, Samsung also announced a strategic initiative to develop connected-car technology with Harman, the auto and audio product maker that it acquired last November for $8 billion.

Period - Transformation - Industry - Leadership - Role

“During this period of extraordinary transformation in the automotive industry, we are excited to play a leadership role in supporting and shaping the future of smarter, more connected vehicles,” said Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung Electronics and Chairman of the Board of HARMAN, in a statement. “The Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit and automotive fund reflect the company’s commitment to the values of open innovation and collaboration. In partnership with OEMs and startups, we will make the driver and passenger experience safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable.”

While giants like GM, Volkswagen and Toyota (among others) have traditionally dominated the automotive industry, the next wave of innovations related to how we (and other things) get from A to B leaves everything to play for, as car ownership, in-car systems, and how cars will be operated are all getting disrupted and updated through technology.

Wave - Investment - Car - Companies - GM

That’s driving a large wave of investment. Car companies like GM, Volkswagen, Daimler and many others are backing a range of startups that are building technology and services for that brave new automotive future. Car makers are also investing...
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